The 29th Galway Film Fleadh has announced that the first raft of tickets have gone on sale, and have added a fifth Irish film to the previously announced four, as Rocky Ros Muc joins compatriots Song of Granite, Maze, Pilgrimage, and In the Name of Peace: John Hume in America. Winner of Most Inspiring Documentary at the 2017 Irish Film Festival Boston, Rocky Ros Muc is the story of Sean Mannion, his life and boxing career, and the ups and downs of both.
From humble beginnings to challenging for a world title crown. From the quiet Gaeltacht village of Ros Muc, Galway, to the criminal underworld of James “Whitey” Bulger and the mean streets of Boston. Rocky Ros Muc examines spirit inside the ring and troubles outside; the reality of emigration and its impact on identity.
In the mid 1970’s, Sean Mannion left Galway for Boston. Like many before him, he left behind his home village of Ros Muc and headed for a new life in America. He had a talent for boxing. His sparring partners at his gym were at the heart of Whitey Bulger’s Winter Hill Gang. Friends. Fellow emigrants. His world was their world. The fighting Irish. Drugs, racketeering and murder. This was the reality of life in South Boston. In October 1984, Sean stood in the boxing ring in Madison Square Garden, in New York City, fighting for a WBA world title crown. His rise up the professional ranks wasn’t straightforward. Neither was his descent.
A story of survival. Of determination, honour and strength. A story about identity and community. Not just for Sean Mannion, but for the thousands of emigrants like him.
I first came across Sean Mannion through Rónán Mac Con Iomaire’s book, Rocky Ros Muc. I was totally gripped. I’d never heard of him and the fact that Mannion’s name wasn’t a household one made me want to tell it all the more. Throw in the Irish of Dorchester and South Boston and the criminal underworld of James ‘Whitey’ Bulger and it was clear this was a story that would resonate beyond boxing. Mannion is a humble man. This is his story. But it’s so much more.
Michael Fanning, Director
The film is directed by Michael Fanning, and is produced Máire Bhreathnach and Executive Produced by Trevor Birney. Rónán Mac Con Iomaire was Associate Producer on the film with Mairéad Ní Thréinir as Assistant Producer. The film was edited by Michael Paisley with an original score composed by Andrew Simon McAllister. Rocky Ros Muc is a Below The Radar production with support from Northern Ireland Screen’s Irish Language Broadcast Fund, Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland (FÉ/SI) is the national development agency for Irish filmmaking and the Irish film, television and animation industry., TG4, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and MG Alba.
The 29th Galway Film Fleadh takes place from Tuesday 11th July until Sunday 16th July. Follow Rocky Ros Muc on Twitter and Facebook, and learn more about the 29th Galway Film Fleadh on their website, Twitter and Facebook. Ticket can be purchased via the Town Hall Theatre website. Rocky Ros Muc will play on July 12th at 6pm, with Sean Mannion in attendance.